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#8 Use Non-Toxic Nail Polish

If you’ve ever worn nail polish, you know the cool feeling in your finger and toe tips you have after you’ve just applied it.  It is possible that is from formaldehyde, used as a drying agent, and other toxins leaching into your already neuropathy-affected finger and toe tips. For years health advocacy groups have been trying to get the formaldehyde and other toxins out of nail polish, but in the US and Canada it is still allowed.

Non-toxic nail polishes offer a safe and eco-friendly alternative to vibrant and long-lasting manicures without harmful chemicals.
Image Source: CNA / Canva

Fortunately things are changing and you can protect those neuropathy affected finger tips from these toxins because there are toxin free polishes available.

Nail polishes and polish removers are popular cosmetic products that are used to enhance the appearance of nails. However, there are concerns about the potential effects of these products on the nerves in a person’s fingers or toes. In this blog post, we will explore the potential effects of nail polishes and polish removers on the nerves and provide some tips for using these products safely.

Nail Polishes

The products contain various chemicals that can affect the health of the nails and the surrounding skin. Some of these chemicals, such as dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde, are known as the “toxic trio” and have been linked to health problems1. These chemicals can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction2. Additionally, some nail polishes may contain other harmful chemicals that can cause adverse effects.

While there is no strong evidence to suggest that nail polish can directly damage the nerves in a person’s fingers or toes, it is important to use these products safely. This means following the manufacturer’s instructions and safety tips when using nail polish, or trying some non-toxic alternatives3.

Polish Removers

Polish removers contain chemicals, usually acetone, that can dissolve nail polish. While these products are generally safe to use in small amounts and for short periods of time, excessive or prolonged exposure to acetone can be harmful to your health. Acetone can irritate the eyes, nose, or skin and can damage your kidneys, brain, and nervous system4.

To use polish remover safely, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety tips. This includes using the product in a well-ventilated area and avoiding contact with the eyes or skin. If you experience any adverse effects after using nail polish remover, you should stop using the product and seek medical advice.

Related CNA Resources

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Food for thought...


  1. 9 Toxic Nail Polish Ingredients You Should Avoid ASAP – TheFootGeek (thefootgk.com)
  2. A look at the effects of nail polish on nail health and safety. Health.Harvard.edu
  3. What is the safest nail polish brand. MasterYourNails.com
  4. Effect of acetone on skin. verywellhealth.com/
  5. You asked: Why does polish remover hurt my nails? Time.com

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